Kennesaw State launches Football Exploratory Committee
Legendary coach Vince Dooley will head 33-person committee
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(Dec 10, 2009) —
Legendary coach Vince Dooley will head 33-person committee
KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec. 10, 2009) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp announced today the launch of the
33-member Kennesaw State University Football Exploratory Committee that will formally
gauge support for a football program at KSU.
The committee – which consists of students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and community
leaders, as well as friends and benefactors of KSU – will provide a final report of
its recommendations to President Papp in September 2010.
Legendary college football coach Vince Dooley will chair the exploratory committee.
The KSU Foundation also has hired Dooley to spearhead athletics fundraising at the
“The launch of the Football Exploratory Committee is the next logical step in the
progression of KSU’s athletics programs,” Papp said. “We are excited that a coach
of the caliber of Vince Dooley has agreed to lead us through this process as KSU decides
whether or not we should start a football program. We are thankful to the committee
members for their support and commitment.”
Over the next nine months, the committee will study the pros and cons of having a
football team, how much it would cost, how much support exists, what facilities would
be needed, what would be needed to maintain NCAA Title IX compliance, and how football
would impact other athletics programs at KSU, among other questions.
The launch of the football exploratory committee comes at a time when varsity athletics
at Georgia’s third-largest university is reaching new heights. This fall, after a
four-year transition, KSU became a full-fledged member of Division I of the National
Collegiate Athletic Association, collegiate athletics’ top tier.
Last Tuesday (Dec. 1), KSU announced a partnership with the Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional
Soccer team that includes the construction of a $16.5 million stadium on the campus,
which also will be home to KSU’s thriving women’s soccer program. The 8,300-seat stadium,
which will be ready in the spring, also conceivably could be used for football, Papp
In just the past few months KSU’s intramural, club sports and NCAA athletics facilities
have been transformed, thanks to the support of the KSU Foundation, which has raised
$500 million for capital projects at the university in the past decade.
Until September, the 22,300 KSU student body had only a 1.7-acre field on the main
campus for sports activities. In October, the KSU Sports and Recreation Park – a
state-of-the-art facility with an indoor training facility and two regulation-size
fields for intramural and club sports – opened its doors. The 14-acre sports park
is one parcel of 88 acres of new land east of Interstate 75 acquired by the KSU Foundation
in the past year. The new stadium will be another major component of the sports park
“We are very excited at the possibility of having a football team at KSU,” said Norman
Radow, chairman of the KSU Foundation. “I’ve seen Kennesaw State evolve from a local
college just seven years ago, into a world-class university, with award-winning student
residences, a new, state-of-the-art dining hall, and athletics facilities that would
make any university proud. As I have said over and over, in everything we do for this
university—we will want only the best.”
Papp said that since he was named president of KSU in 2006 he has been asked numerous
times about football. His predecessor also fielded similar inquiries.
“Our response has been that we do not have enough information to answer definitively
the many questions that underlie such a decision,” Papp said. “Now that we are a Division
I university, it’s a good time to start answering those questions. I cannot think
of anyone more qualified to guide us through this process than Coach Dooley.”
Once the Football Exploratory Committee’s work gets fully underway, the University’s
constituents will be able to stay abreast of the group’s work through a public website
that will be launched at: explorefootball.kennesaw.edu
Dooley, who retired as the University of Georgia’s athletics director in 2004, was
UGA’s head football coach from 1964 to 1988. He served as athletic director at UGA
from 1979 to 2003. During that time, Dooley was responsible for building one of the
most successful athletic programs in all of college sports, winning national championships
in Men's Tennis, Golf, Baseball and Women's Gymnastics. During his 25 years as coach,
he led the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship title and six SEC championships.
He is one of collegiate football’s most celebrated coaches, with a 201-77-10 record.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
“The potential of launching a football program from the ground up is an intriguing
challenge to me,” Dooley said, “and I cannot think of a better place to do that than
at Kennesaw State. This is an exciting place to be. This university is on the move.”
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more
than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education,
business and nursing. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw
State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more
than 22,300 students from 142 countries.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.